Article by: Dr Mrs Trupti Indranil
I’m an avid bird lover. Owl is one of my favourite for its cuteness, its qualities of hearing, strategies for hunting in an efficient way, its way of being absolutely silent and doing its work alone silently, with full concentration. I also like Owls for their wisdom. They know when to hunt and when to rest. You will never find an Owl roaming without purpose.
In India Diwali lights are meant to represent the victory of good over evil, as well as a welcoming beacon for Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, the five day festival is the most deadly time of all for the owls.
Owl is considered a symbol of wealth, prosperity, wisdom, good luck and Fortune. This is the reason why Owl is seen with Goddess Lakshmi, who is also the goddess of fortune, wealth and prosperity.
Some illiterate and superstitious people believe is that if an owl is sacrificed in a house during Lakshmi puja (God of wealth), the goddess will be forced to “stay” with the family. This superstition is deadly for owls.
India is home to 32 species out of 200 owl species. Most, if not all, are included on International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “Red List” of threatened species, while at least one, the forest owlet, is critically endangered, according to “Imperilled Custodians of the Night,” a report Abrar wrote for Traffic in 2010.
The most common species sold is the spotted owlet, which has adapted to living in cities and is therefore in little danger of dying out. But threatened species like the brown fish owl can also be found for sale, and the threatened rock eagle owl is the “most preferred” by tantric (witch doctors), a bad omen for its future survival.
The Indian (rock) eagle owl, brown fish owl, dusky eagle owl Indian scops owl and mottled wood owl are five of the most most traded owl species in illegal wildlife market.
People need to get educated and work hard to attract wealth, good fortune, prosperity and wellbeing – superstitions will not help in getting wealth. One has to work smart and be strategic in its actions. One has to think and act like an “Owl” to attract Lakshmi.
Awareness is the only solution which can save this bird.
Photo credit : ©IgnitedImages – Indranil Bhattacharjee